I sat down the other day and embroidered something! (This is where you stop and applaud…) I’ve always been so scared to try to make a picture with needle and floss, but I finally just took the plunge and went for it. I only bled a little bit. I’m really inspired by embroidery art. So inspired that I find myself pinning embroidery art on pinterest, to which my friends have sent me messages that include lots of “????”’s. But it seems so perfect! It’s a portable craft. You can stop and start at any point. (I think) you can fix your mistakes easily….I actually don’t really know this for sure, you would have to ask someone like Megan. Because she’s more of a pro with this kind of thing. She’s an artist who designs embroidery kits…and you can bet I’ve been looking at a couple of them. Meet Megan and check out her cool things!
Please introduce yourself.
I’m Megan Eckman, a fine artist and the designer behind Studio MME. I grew up in the tundras of North Dakota, where -20F is the norm in the winter time. After art school, I moved out to Silicon Valley with my partner to get some much-needed sunshine. Then, as housing costs soared, we left the Bay for the city of plaid and beards: Portland, OR. Now we’re getting into the swing of craft brewing, DIY culture, and running into makers everywhere we turn.
What do you make or do?
For Studio MME, I’m an embroidery kit designer. In the near future, I’ll be adding stuffed creature kits and coloring books to my line. By trade, I’m a fine artist and spend an hour or two a day painting and drawing. I wish I could say that I make more but, honestly, I’m terrible at crafting. I shine as a crafting enabler though!
Where can we find your creations?
Is there an interesting story behind the name of your business?
The name of my business comes from my initials. I got in trouble as a child for writing my initials on my work because they were ME. Thus the teachers would always assume someone was being silly. So I figured now I might put them to good use.
How long have you been creating and is it your full-time job?
I started my business when I graduated art school in 2009 and just this year it has become my full-time job. Woohoo! It took six years of hustling to get to this point. I slowly built up my wholesale shops, improved my packaging, and really refined what I sell so that it tells a cohesive story.
Did someone in your family, a friend or teacher introduce you to your creative side or have they helped you along the way?
My father is a self-taught artist and as soon as I was holding a pencil and showing (apparently) some skill, my parents put me into every art class in town. Thus I never really thought I had any other path to follow but to become an artist. I’ve always been encouraged to pursue my artwork. My parents didn’t blink an eye when I declared I would be earning degrees in art and creative writing. They simply told me I needed to start a business before I graduated to prove I was serious about making a living from my work.
If money wasn’t an issue how would your life change with regards to your art?
I would have loads more fun supplies like lapis lazuli oil paint and silk embroidery floss. Space then would also not have to be an issue. Haha!
What inspiring advice would you give to other creatives be they established or just starting out?
Listen to your gut. My favorite designs always result from leaving a tiny bit undecided till I start working on it. Then I listen to my gut and see what comes out. It’s always a surprise but it’s also always spot on.
Who are the makers that inspire you?
I am constantly inspired by the ceramic work of Camila Prada (https://www.camilaprada.com/). I love the work of Red Gate Stitchery (https://redgatestitchery.com/) and also the paintings of Julia Sarda (https://juliasarda.blogspot.com/).